Two members of the ‘Himpunan Hijau’ organising committee are expected to be charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, for allowing children under the age of 15 to participate in a rally last September.

Committee president Wong Kin Hoong (left) and vice-president Tengku Shahadan Tengku Jaafar have received a summons to be present in a Raub court next Monday.

"We will be charged under Section 15 of the Act, with allowing the participants below 15 to enter (the venue)," Wong said when contacted today.

He said they have been questioned at least five times to date by the police.

Wong said the committee had signed an agreement in which OCPD Wan Mohd Samsudin Wan Osman had set out conditions.

NONEAmong these was a ban on child participation and marching, as well as a requirement for the gathering to be conducted in an orderly manner, he said.

"I signed the agreement and Shahadan (right) signed as a witness and seconder," Wong said.

"We will not plead guilty .... the police were at the rally as well. They allowed the children to enter, but are now charging us. It's unfair.”

The Act makes it an offence for a child below 15 to participate in such rallies, while the district police head is empowered to impose conditions in relation to the venue, time, duration and manner of gatherings.

azlanUnder Section 15(3), anyone found guilty of failing to comply with the restrictions and conditions is liable to a maximum fine of RM10,000.

Wong further criticised police for this “focus on petty issues”, instead of tackling serious crime.

The rally was held on Sept 2 last year at Padang Kompleks Sukan in Bukit Koman, to protest the use of cynide in gold mining operations by Raub Australian Gold Mine (RAGM).

More than 10,000 people attended the gathering. They then marched to the RAGM office when the company’s representative failed to show up to accept a memorandum from the organiser. - Malaysiakini, 12/8/2013, 'Himpunan Hijau Raub' organisers to face charges